October 1, 2021
Good Afternoon SIS/SMS Families,
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. I will tell you that your children are doing an amazing job responding to the protocols that we have been required to follow. I’m so proud of the students and their ability to adjust and adapt. One thing I have always said in the thirty-plus years in education is that students are way more resilient than adults. They want to be at school and be around their friends. I’m proud of the efforts they are making.
In my last newsletter, I explained how our seventh and eighth grade students' electives were working this year. On Monday, October 4th, they will be transitioning to their second elective already. This elective will run from October 4 through October 29. We have some great electives this year and I’m excited to expose all our students to them. Of course, those who are in band and choir will have those electives all year.
We have begun our reading interventions this week. We spent the first three weeks testing all our students for reading fluency and comprehension. We are now doing everything we can to boost our yellow zone students for a couple weeks just to get them back into the flow of reading for purpose. With the closure and distance learning over the past year and a half, some students have tested below grade level. We are doing everything we can to boost them and get them back on track.
Over the next week and a half, all our students will be taking some Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments (SBAC). These assessments allow us to determine what students have missed over the past 18 months. We will use this data to drive our instructional practices. Plus, this allows us to practice and prepare our students for standardized testing in the future. The state suspended testing in the spring of 2020, and then left it up to local districts to determine if they tested in the spring of 2021. Our district chose not to test, however, we made a commitment to ensure that we would use interim assessments at the start of the 2021-22 school year to see where students were.
Masks continue to be a challenge for a few students. Please make sure your students are coming to school with properly fitted masks for their safety as well as others.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support and patience as we navigate through the challenges of in-person learning. We can do this because we can do hard things!!! I believe in this community and its ability to do what is right for our students.